Greece to restore historic royal cars of former monarchs


Greek Royal
Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports

Twelve royal cars that once belonged to the Greek royal family and were rediscovered in 2020 at the premises of the famous Tatoi Palace on the outskirts of Athens have been approved for restoration, the Greek Ministry of Culture said on Tuesday.

The graceful wooden carriages had been stored in the stables of the Royal Estate of Greece since 1973 and resurfaced when restoration work on the vast estate began in 2020.

They have since been transferred to a temporary storage facility on the estate which is equipped with all the necessary security and has the appropriate environment for their restoration and maintenance.

Work in progress for the restoration of the entire Greek royal domain

Plans to revive the famous Tatoi Palace and bring its glorious past back to life were unveiled by the Greek government in 2019.

Located on a slope of Mount Parnitha, Tatoi is located 27 kilometers (16 miles) from central Athens, in a lush, green area with woods, rivers and abundant wildlife.

Greece hopes to attract more tourists to the region by restoring the site to a luxury resort and highlighting its royal history with a new museum.

“The trucks have received emergency rescue operations from the maintenance department of the maintenance department for the temporary retention and protection of the peeled paint layers and the removal of dirt and loose deposits, after a long stay in totally unsuitable conditions ”, declared the Minister of Culture Lina A declared Mendoni within the framework of the announcement.

“With the implementation of the Maintenance and Restoration study, their original appearance will be restored. The works of the historic core of the former royal domain of Tatoi are progressing systematically and on time, ”she confirmed.

Greek Royal
Part of the collection of royal Greek carriages can be found in a row in a temporary storage facility on the Tatoi Estate. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports

The massive transformation project underway aspires to make up for the more than 50 years of neglect of the estate by converting the former summer residence of the royal family of Greece into a center of culture, history and luxury.

In addition to shops, restaurants and nature trails, a luxury hotel and spa are expected to be built on the property which has a total of 55 buildings.

The creation of a suitably large permanent space for the exhibition of exquisite historic cars can also be added to the project.

Carriages are invaluable cultural and historical objects

The maintenance and restoration study includes a detailed description of each car and presents documented historical facts regarding the type and use of the cars by the Greek royal family, as well as a description of the technology and materials used to build them.

Greek Royal
A maintenance study was commissioned to document the historical use of each of the Greek royal horse carriages found at Tatoi Palace. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports

The valuable collection includes the official Berlin-style car built in France in 1870 for the Count of Chambort and acquired by George I in 1871. It was used at the wedding of Queen Sophia of Spain in Athens in 1962.

An Ascot Landau open cart, used at the wedding of former King Constantine and Anna Maria is also included; a car for specific city tank events; and two Phaeton open sports cars which were widely used for George I’s daily commute and for various official family events.

Three Brougham-style enclosed cars, one of which has no axle, a Brake chase car, a Tilbury-style lounge chair and two chair carts complete the impressive collection.

The study will examine the maintenance of the metal, wood, fabric and leather components of the carts, with chemical and mechanical cleaning, padding as needed and welding of spare parts, to keep them functioning again.

Other heirlooms found on the Tatoi estate since the restoration project began included a collection of luxury motor vehicles and a total of seventy suitcases and trunks, all believed to belong to Frederica, who was the queen consort of Greece from 1947 to 1964 and Queen Mother thereafter.

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